Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest
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Issue 19 | December 2016

Welcome to the last issue of 2016! In this edition we'll be catching up with news from Seoul and the PICO-thon, giving you details of CRS training, and some information on dealing with retracted articles. We've also got some Archie tips and tricks for you, and news of an opportunity to help Cochrane Crowd with their screening citation challenge. Continue to contact us at if you need help with anything CIS related.
PICO Annotator news

PICO-Thon: catch up from Seoul

At the Seoul Colloquium in October, the very first PICO-thon was held with a number of CISs participating. The PICO Annotator is a new tool which allows Cochrane reviews and associated included studies to be tagged with metadata. Metadata specialists Deirdre Beecher and Carol Friesen have been employed to tag the backlog of existing reviews, but going forward this will eventually become the responsibility of the review groups, and information specialists will have a key role as metadata curators.

At the event in Seoul, Alex Garcia Castro from the project, along with Deirdre and Carol, updated us with the latest news, and then participants did some hands-on tagging of Cochrane reviews. The team have been awarded a grant by the Bill Gates Foundation to pursue this work in Child Health, so initially the work will concentrate on tagging reviews by the Cochrane groups who work in this area (such as Pregnancy and Childbirth, Neonatal, etc). The team are using several different ontologies to create the metadata thesaurus, including SNOMED and MEDra.

There will be a special session in Oxford for those of you who are attending the UK and Ireland Symposium in March. Come along and learn more!

You can find more information on the PICO Annotator project on the Cochrane Community website here.

The Powerpoint presentation from the event is online, follow this link to have a look through the slides.
CRS Update

CRS Webinars - sign up in January if you have any questions about CRS Web!

The rollout to CRS Web is now well underway.  To support Information Specialists as they move across to the new interface, the CIS Support Team and Metaxis will be delivering some ‘drop in’ webinar sessions in January. These small virtual sessions will be hosted via GoToWebinar, and are aimed primarily at those using CRS-W, currently migrating or about to migrate, but anyone is welcome to attend.
If you previously attended a CRS webinar during the rollout of Standalone, we want to clarify that this new series supporting CRSW will be different. We will not be presenting on or demoing a particular functionality of CRSW, instead we would like you to use the sessions to raise any queries you have about the software, or to request demonstrations of specific functionality. It would be helpful if you could email CIS Support ( in advance of the session with your query or details of what you would like to cover (this can be as general as show me how this feature works, or how do I do X); but we will be happy to cover additional questions that arise during the session.
GoToWebinar software allows multiple people to join a conference call and view a shared computer screen.  CIS Support will send out details of how to join the call when people sign up to the webinars.  It is helpful to have a headset with a microphone, but not essential as you can also dial in via telephone.
We currently have the following one hour sessions available, which we hope will work for people across most time zones:
10 am UK time on Thursday 12 January
5 pm UK time on Wednesday 18 January
To book onto a webinar sign-up here, and email CIS Support with the details of the topic or query you want to raise. Please can you let us know if you are subsequently unable to join. We intend to offer webinars regularly over the coming months, but will cancel any sessions where there is no interest.
In addition to the webinars, a number of short introductory videos on various aspects of working with CRSW will be available from early in the New Year, with more planned as further key topics are identified.
If you are interested in migrating across to CRSW, contact the CIS Support Team (

Join us in Oxford on Monday 13 March 2017

Metaxis and the Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team are planning a training event on CRS Web. It will take place on Monday 13 March in Oxford to tie in with the 2017 Cochrane UK and Ireland Symposium.
This event is open to all Cochrane Information Specialists, whether based in the UK or not. The event is free, but you or your group must find funding for your travel and accommodation.
Please note that it is not yet clear that we will be able to run a similar event in Cape Town to tie in with the Global Evidence Summit, so this may be your only chance to attend a CRS Web workshop in 2017.
If you think you may be able to come, please email Anne as soon as you can (
Cochrane Crowd Update

Join the Cochrane Crowd 48 hour Citation Screening Challenge!

Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s new citizen science platform, is a global community of almost 4,000 volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about healthcare treatments.

Cochrane Crowd would like your help to achieve one million classifications by the end of the year. Help Cochrane Crowd get over the line by joining the 48 hour Citation Screening Challenge on 19-21 December.

The job of the Cochrane Crowd community is to review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify randomised controlled trials (RCTs), a type of study that is considered the gold standard for clinical trials. Reports of RCTs are then fed into Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials, helping Cochrane authors and other systematic reviewers around the world quickly find the evidence they need to help answer important questions about treatments.

Cochrane Crowd has now reached 933,500 research study classifications and would like your help in a final push to reach one million. By joining the 48 hour Citation Screening Challenge you’ll be working with a supportive international community from the comfort of your own home. If Cochrane Crowd is new to you, you’ll be provided with some brief (and fun!) online training so you’ll feel confident right from the start. Any contribution towards the challenge is welcome, whether it be a few five-minute grabs or a more focussed effort over the 48 hours. Cochrane Crowd are also going to make this event a fundraiser, with all proceeds raised going to both Unicef’s campaign to help children in Syria this winter, and to the medical humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières.

Head over to Cochrane Crowd to hear about the challenge and how you can get involved! And don’t forget to tell your colleagues, friends and families – the more the merrier!

News from your Exec

Seoul wrap up

So that you have less to read and to avoid duplication of effort, the Information Specialists Exec will be merging their newsletter with this digest. News from the Exec will be a regular feature from now on!

The minutes from the meeting of the Cochrane Information Specialists in Seoul are now available on Archie, here.

The Exec would also like to draw your attention to presentations and slides from the Knowledge Translation Symposium, which you can find here; and the Cochrane Tech Symposium, here.
Question from Seoul

Dealing with retractions

At the Cochrane Information Specialists wrap-up meeting in Seoul a question was raised as to how to handle retractions. The following information may help.
There are three categories that may fall into this discussion. Retractions, which would include fraudulent data and plagiarism. Errata, to denote unintended errors, which are accepted by the author(s). Comments, for errors identified by others, and including early concerns regarding fraud. It is important to identify such notifications, because including data from studies that are fraudulent or include errors can impact on the results of the systematic review. 
For those maintaining a specialised register it is important to consider conducting searches for the two record types that identify a retraction: retracted publication and retraction of publication. Definitions are available here.
A group’s register scope search could be combined with the following:
Ovid Medline
retracted or retraction of
Retracted publication [pt] OR retraction of publication [pt]
Ovid Embase or retracted article/
Any retractions of RCTs included in your register should be recorded. You will need to check that those studies are not included in any reviews. CRS-W will be able to identify these for you via the Tracking screen. If a retracted publication is included in a review, first contact the author of the review to establish the impact of removing the study on the conclusion of the review. The review group will then need to consider this Cochrane policy.

You should also check the following sections of the Cochrane Handbook:

6.4.10  Identifying fraudulent studies, other retracted publications, errata and comments
6.5.2  Which fields to download

Retractions are also covered in MECIR Standard C48: Examining errata, a highly desirable standard:

"Some studies may have been found to be fraudulent or may have been retracted since publication for other reasons. Errata can reveal important limitations, or even fatal flaws, in included studies. All of these may lead to the potential exclusion of a study from a review or meta-analysis. Care should be taken to ensure that this information is retrieved in all database searches by downloading the appropriate fields, together with the citation data."
There is some further information about Errata, Retractions, Corrected and Comments etc. here.

Thanks to Carol Lefebvre and the Information Retrieval Methods Group for clarifying the relevant handbook sections and MECIR guidance.
Archie update

Archie tips and tricks

The ME Support Team newsletter recently contained an item on citations and Archie, which we thought we would highlight for information specialists too.

The Review Citation Wizard can assist you in cross-referencing between reviews by identifying reviews that are potentially relevant to your review, and help insert the correct citation. The suggested reviews are presented in a table along with information about their rank. To identify possibly relevant reviews:

    1. Click the review and use Tools > Review Citation Wizard. 
The Review Citation Wizard opens.
    2. Click Next.
 A list of reviews that can be potentially relevant for citing is generated. 

*Note: If a review is already cited, the Cited column in the Review Citation Wizard (Result) for that review will have a green icon:  [tick]. 

To export citations:
  1. Open Review Citation Wizard and click Next. 
  2. Select the reviews in the Review Citation Wizard to be exported and click Next. 
  3. Click Export Citation.
All select citations are exported in RevMan format. 
  4. Save the file with exported citations on your local computer.
 The file can now be imported into RevMan.     
Remember: It is not possible to export citations that are already cited in the review.
Portal update

A fresh new look for the Information Specialists' Portal

As you will probably know, Cochrane has undertaken an extensive rebranding exercise and has also reorganized a lot of web content.

As a result, the Cochrane Information Specialists' Portal has moved to the Organizational Info section of the new Cochrane Community site. Any old links will be redirected to the new URL, which is:

Relevant content from the old portal has been migrated across, and there is some new content too. We'd especially like to draw your attention to the newly updated Information Specialists' job description, which you can find here.
Helpdesk update

Holiday closure

The CIS Support helpdesk ( will be closed from 22 December to 3 January, for the Christmas period. Seasons greetings to you all, and a happy new year!
Contact us...
Don't forget, previous editions of the Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team digest are available on the CIS Portal.

Contact the Support Team for help with any Cochrane Information Specialist related issue (including CRS technical support):
The Cochrane Information Specialist Support Team:
Liz Doney I Sam Faulkner I Ruth Foxlee
Anne Littlewood I Doug Salzwedel
Cochrane Information Specialist Support Website
Cochrane Information Specialist Support Website

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Cochrane Information Specialists Support Team · Cochrane Editorial Unit · 57-59 Haymarket · London, SW1Y 4QX · United Kingdom

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